Photograph from buzzfeednews.com, 2016
Passing a law can be low down, dirty work! Or at least that is how it appears to those of us who prize humane treatment of others. Perhaps it merely appears like dirty work when it aims to oppress more than half of the population; Exactly how can that happen?
According to Rachel Sklar of CNN News in an article entitled Why the ‘Heartbeat Law’ should worry you published December 9, 2016, the Heartbeat Law bans abortions after the heartbeat of a fetus can be detected, around the sixth or seventh week of pregnancy for most women. This law would mean that many women would not be allowed to even consider an abortion because women typically do not realize immediately that they are, in fact, pregnant. Further, this law would not make exceptions for issues such as rape, incest, or fetal anomalies.
Luckily, I have never been burdened with the consideration of abortion, something that I am sure that my husband is thankful for given this newly proposed clause to the bill. I have not experienced an unplanned pregnancy or news of some terrible genetic problem related to a growing fetus that would cause me to have to address whether or not an abortion was, in fact, a humane offering. Because I had three planned pregnancies that resulted in three healthy children, I am not really capable of telling a woman who does not experience the same life path as my own that she must follow through with a pregnancy. More important, I’m not quite sure that those decisions should be left to the government, given the rampant misogyny that exists in our culture.
What I can speak to, however, is the effect that pregnancy can have on the human body, not to mention the emotional toll it can take. More, I can add that I feel that if the government plans to tell women what they must do in these particular life situations, then certainly the government will request something by law that is deemed equal for the men involved. Why should a woman be forced to go through a painful process wherein her body is forever changed if the man involved in the pregnancy will not be held to the same standard? That is, unless somehow I missed a biology lesson and women are in fact solely responsible for pregnancies.
Because I feel fairly sure that two people take part in the process of impregnation, I propose that every man involved in impregnation where a woman does not wish to continue the pregnancy, and unfortunately that will include men who find out along with their partners that the fetus has a severe genetic abnormality, to have one inch of his penis removed so that the outcome of the forced pregnancy is more equitable to the involved parties.
Now on the surface this proposal may seem like a disturbingly crude request to be enforced by law, but let me make my point with the following observations before you judge me too harshly:
(1) A woman must endure pain during pregnancy and childbirth, and my guess is that the removal of a portion of the penis is likely painful as well.
(2) Pregnancy takes an emotional toll on a woman, and penis resizing will likely be emotional for a man too.
(3) A woman’s body will never return to its prepregnancy state and the same holds true for a man who has a portion of his penis lopped off.
(4) A woman’s sexual arousal is often compromised as a result of vaginal childbirth and the shortened penis of a man will likely result in less sexual satisfaction as well.
(5) A woman’s vagina is socially diminished as a result of pregnancy, and a shortened penis allows the same socially degraded status for a man.
(6) The act of childbirth has a profound impact on a woman in terms of a long remembered pivotal moment in her life, and I can only surmise that the loss of a portion of the penis would register for a man in a similar way.
(7) A woman must engage in aftercare practices surrounding her vagina, which is often cut or torn during childbirth, and a lopped off penis will require aftercare for a man as well.
(8) A woman’s life hangs by a thread, so to speak, during childbirth, and my guess is that penis shortening is not quite the same, but we’ll let that small thing go for now; Consider this a gift.
You can probably think of other similarities.
At any rate, my guess is that if we followed the logic of some people who would love for the government to dictate to women what they should do with their own bodies, those same people would never think that we should equally dictate to the involved men what actions will be taken to force government based obligations of their sex organs. But what do I know? Maybe the law would be passed without any problems, because men agree that women are just as worthy as men and that men are just as responsible for pregnancy as are women.
Bear in mind that I am not advocating for abortion, I am simply rejecting the idea that the government should dictate to any woman what she can and cannot legally do with her own body without holding the involved man to the same standard. While many would likely counter this argument with the notion that government involvement is really about the rights of the fetus during pregnancy, my guess is still that many of those same people would change their hard held beliefs regarding the lack of a woman’s right to rule over her own body if men were also left without rights where this complex matter is concerned.
Governor Kasich, would you veto an abortion bill that includes a penis lopping clause intended to enforce equal sexual restrictions for men and women under the law? I suspect your answer here would be a swift YES because the idea of permanently altering a man’s penis seems inhumane, doesn’t it?
Photograph of butcher from shieldsgazette.com, 2011